How to Massage Your Baby For Colic Relief?

Baby Colic is one of the most common ailments found in young children, especially infants. Though the exact causes of colic are not known medically, but it is usually caused by gastric problems. Colic leads to a build up of gas in the baby’s stomach, and so the stomach becomes swollen and distended.

A colicky baby is known to cry profusely because of the pain that he/she experiences. This seemingly endless crying often leads to panic among parents as they are left clueless about how to help their children. If you are one of these parents then relax! Don’t blame yourself for your baby’s discomfort as colic is fairly common and is not caused by something you did or did not do. Having said that, you can still try and help your colicky baby in a number of ways. This will ease not only his pain but it will also make you feel better as you will know that you are trying your best.

Baby massage is one of the most effective ways to help with baby colic. Proper massage relaxes your baby’s muscles and thus, eases any possible spasms or contractions in the stomach. This will also allow the baby to pass the wind that was may have been causing the problem in the first place.

During a non colic crying episode try some simple massage moves. Firstly, make sure that there is a gap of at least half an hour between the baby’s last feed and the massage. Then, either place your baby in your lap or on a cushion or towel- whatever is more comfortable for you and the baby.

Closely observe your baby’s reaction to your hands’ movement. Repeat the strokes that he seems to enjoy more. Massaging techniques can differ for babies depending on what suits them more.

Colic Remedy-Baby Bowen Colic Help


 

 
For the calm times… Massage using natural oil and make sure you are relaxed, baby hasn’t just been fed and you have a bit of time, and you are both fairly relaxed.  I would recommend doing a  full 20 min routine here but 5-10mins is fine for colic relief – just concentrate on the following… Massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction using your flat palm, following a circle around the belly button. Then use fingertips in small circles following the same trail, then back to the flat hand. Hand over hand, do gentle scoops from under the ribcage down across the ribcage (not too much pressure inwards) Finish with more flat handed circles. Hold each leg and ‘bicycle’ one leg and then the other up towards the abdomen, then stretching the leg down to it’s full length – this both compresses and expands the abdomen. Do this 10 or so times. Then take both feet and gently stretch the legs together up towards the head, and back down again – again for 10 or so times (as long as baby is happy) Do some more bicycling to finish. Stretch the legs down using gentle pressure in a frog shape, and give them a little ‘wobble’ – great to dislodge that last bit of stubborn wind! Massage both feet one at a time, all over the tops, around the ankle and using the thumbs stroke firmly up underneath the sole of the foot. Gentle press into the centre of the sole of the foot – this is the solar plexus point and can help with calming (one in the centre of the palm too for when you are out and about with a screaming baby) and pay attention to the centre area – this relates to the digestive system.

During crying episodes it may help to lay your baby across the length of your arms, either facing towards the elbow or your hand depending on the size. This puts pressure and warmth onto the abdomen and can help to expel trapped wind. As suggesting gentle rocking and shushing can help but this can be hard on your back. Laying warm hands on the abdomen may ease the pain and bicycles may help (but aren’t as much fun during crying episodes as in the normal routine – but this is OK) and of course don’t forget to take some time out when you can – it is perfectly OK to leave your baby with someone you trust and get out of the house for five minutes – even (maybe especially) during the colicky times. Infacol can help but you must remember to use it every feed as it has a cumulative effect. Dr Browns also have great reports. Try and use the gentlest formula you can but avoid switching too often as this can cause upset too. I have a DVD out which explains and shows both my full ‘Massage for Happy Babies‘ routine and incorporates ‘No Cry Baby – tips for calming colic and wind’ which might be of use if you can’t get to a baby massage class. They can be downloaded instantly to your computer so you can get started in a few clicks of the mouse! I am available on email at all times for help and support as you apply the techniques.

So, the next time your baby experiences discomfort due to colic, take a deep breath. Now that you have begun to learn the art of baby massage, you have the tools to help!

Learning To Talk Helps A Child To Read

As soon as your child is born into this world, his senses are constantly stimulated by all that is around HIM.  He may not be doing much besides crying, yawning and cooing, but he is constantly surrounded by sounds and people talking.  As his vision starts to improve, he can identify faces as they come close to his face and making noises as they come near.

His vision begins to develop.  In his infancy, he is already trying to converse, but all he can  produce are baby sounds in answer to adult talk.  Although his senses are ready, Mother Nature prefers to proceed at her own steady pace.  This is when you as the parent, can play your part.  You can sing and talk to your child and he will soon try to mimic you, trying to say those syllables and sounds which sound gibberish to us. He is listening, developing his auditory sense.  Your baby watches and listens as you and others talk, observes that talking is often followed by things happening.

He associates sight and sound and becomes aware that when he ‘talks’ things happen too.  The more interactions there are between you and your child at this stage, the sooner your child will develop his senses.  The thinking and feeling processes are also developing, and with them a curiosity and interest in his surroundings, a thirst for knowledge.  Stimulating this process will enhance his ability to make connections, to assimilate, and later to analyze and give meaning to objects and words and the connections between them.

It is important for you to interact at this stage, to your child’s development.  When he listens to your voice talking or singing, it leaves a deep impression on him.  He wants to talk to you and it shows in his interaction to your actions and the sound you make. The responsive mechanism within him and his eagerness to participate pushes him to communicate with you, through the means you have shown –  talking.

There is a positive effect on the ability to read when the ability to talk develops early in a young child.  Listening to his own voice acts as a powerful stimulus for your child.  For instance, as he utters the word “puppy”, there is a delight within him and it shows.  He may not understand why, but it is because he is exploring his own potential.  As an adult, you can understand why and you take delight in hearing your child talking.  You may spontaneously clap your hands or in some other way communicate your pleasure to your child.  He reciprocates and in delight, wants to repeat the experience.   In effect, his auditory and visual senses are stimulated.

Nursery rhymes are useful and do play an important role.  Most have an auditory appeal that can be irresistible and can function as an educational tool.  Their strong appeal lies in their rhythm.  The rhyming works stimulate hearing and impart a useful lesson; the ability to distinguish between two words.  Consider the simple nursery rhyme:

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky

Try it on your child with a bit of action.  Initially he will enjoy the catchy, lively rhythm.  He will begin to beat time to it and it will make him want to sing along.  He will start singing, unsteady at first, possibly stumbling over the words, and then with increasing confidence.  As he sings, he will develop the ability to make that fine distinction between the rhyming works, star and are, high and sky. The constant repetitive quality characteristic of nursery rhymes gets through to him as well so that simple words and meanings can be learned in an enjoyable way and practiced through repetition. This is how children learn to read, and you baby indeed can read.

Developing the ability to associate things is the first step in learning to read.  The earlier your child learns to talk, the earlier a foundation is laid for reading.  Reading is speech written down or put in another way, talk in print.  When you encourage your child to talk, you are also encouraging him to use a natural human ability, his hearing.  This is the focus of most early childhood development program to teach young children or babies reading.  He says what he hears, which stimulates him.  He wants to learn, more and more, to explore further the new phenomenon he has discovered.

Recommended reading…

For more information on early childhood education and how to increase your child’s intelligence, you’ll probably want to take a look at the Genius Maker program. It’s an exciting new program to teach your child not only to read, but learn mathematical skills and gain an encyclopedic knowledge. Well worth checking out!

You can visit the TeachMyBaby website by clicking on the link below:
Improve Your Baby’s Intelligence

IVF Implantation – What Can I Do to Help My Embryo Implant?

Of all the possibilities that could arise with IVF, implantation failure is probably the most disheartening. This refers to an IVF cycle that yields several lovely embryos, except these embryos keep failing to implant for one reason or another. A cycle that ends in implantation failure is frustrating because doctors cannot usually provide a concrete answer explaining why this happens. The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your chances of conceiving in the next cycle. Here are some of our time-tested suggestions.

Consider embryo testing

The health of an embryo is the secret behind a successful embryo implantation, and the most common reason behind implantation failure is a chromosomal abnormality in the delicate embryo. This is far more common than many women know. It is the body’s natural response to an embryonic abnormality and usually indicates a genetic failure serious enough to prevent the baby’s survival. The human body is extraordinary in its complexity, and spontaneous implantation failure is the body’s natural way to solve the problem, allowing for another try with the woman’s subsequent cycle. All well and good for natural fertilization, but when a couple spends thousands of dollars and goes through the all the associated difficulties of IVF, a better way to avoid this step is needed.

Most IVF clinics select embryos for transfer by looking at them under a microscope. Unfortunately, a physical examination does not allow the clinician to check if the embryos have an abnormality called aneuploidy. Aneuploidy is a condition where the embryo has an extra or missing chromosome. Aneuploidic embryos often lead to failed implantation or miscarriage.

An embryo test called pre-genetic implantation diagnosis (PGD) can help the clinician select the healthiest embryos for transfer by identifying the aneuploidic ones. On the third day after fertilization, a cell is removed from each embryo and then studied for chromosomal abnormalities. The normal embryos are then transferred to the uterus on the fifth day.

PGD offers a number of advantages to women nearing the age 40, when the aging ovaries are more likely to produce less viable eggs. The procedure allows the clinician to select the healthiest embryos, meaning they all have a higher chance of ending in a live birth. This means that fewer embryos can get transferred at each time, reducing the risk of twins and multiple pregnancies. Secondly, the babies that result from these embryos will also grow up healthy, free from genetic abnormalities. And finally, the embryos are transferred on the fifth day, which makes them more in sync with the uterine lining.

Since PGD is very labor-intensive, the cost of the procedure can be very expensive. In the United States, PGD can set you back up $2,000 to 4,000 all by itself. However, this technologically advanced option could save another far more expensive IVF cycle, and could be the little extra that results in a successful pregnancy and healthy birth.

Eat the right foods

Increasing you chances of conceiving doesn’t always have to involve expensive technology. Sometimes, doing something as simple as eating the right food brings you one step closer to having a baby. These foods can make the uterine lining more receptive to the embryos.

Pineapple

This tart tropical fruit is rich in an enzyme called bromelain, which dissolves proteins that may prevent implantation. There are no scientific studies to back this up yet, but it won’t hurt to snack on pineapple during your cycle. Divide an entire pineapple core into five parts, and eat one each day starting on the day of your transfer.

Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in a type of fat called omega-3 essential fatty acids, which increases the levels prostaglandins. Studies show that prostaglandins are needed for successful implantation.

Green leafy vegetables

Spinach, mustard greens, and cauliflower have high amounts of folate, a type of B vitamin that helps new cells survive. Start eating more of these veggies at the start of your cycle to improve the quality of your eggs.

Avoid the wrong foods

Just as certain foods make your uterine lining more receptive to embryos, so do some foods prevent implantation from taking place. Make sure to stay far away from these foods even during your pregnancy.

Caffeine

Now is a good time to stop drinking coffee, energy drinks, and other beverages with caffeine. New research published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reveals that pregnant women who take the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee daily are two times more likely to miscarry than women who do not take caffeine.

Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the causes of unexplained infertility, and drinking during your cycle may lower your chances of conceiving. Doctors in Harvard Medical School discovered that alcohol consumption lowers your chances of getting pregnant through IVF.

Fish

While fish is actually a better source of omega-3 fats than walnuts, they are also contaminated by ocean pollutants like methyl mercury. Aside from lowering your fertility, this toxin can cross the placenta and travel to the baby’s developing brain, wreaking havoc on its defenseless nervous system.

Try acupuncture

Not many women are comfortable with the idea of being a human pincushion, but acupuncture is actually a beneficial procedure to those going through IVF. Besides boosting overall fertility and protecting you from the severe side effects of the medication, acupuncture can pave the way to successful implantation. One study looked at a group of 225 women going through IVF; 116 were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture, while the rest had a phony procedure. Those in the first group received a treatment three days before and after the embryo transfer, and had an implantation rate per embryo of 14.2%. Women in the second group only had an implantation rate per embryo of 5.9%.

For best results, experts recommend starting your acupuncture treatment three months before your cycle begins. But if your next cycle is a matter of weeks or days away, you can still reap the benefits of this procedure. Ask your acupuncturist if he or she can accompany you on the day of the embryo transfer and give you a treatment before and after. Studies show that having a procedure after the transfer makes the uterine lining more receptive to the embryos.

Signs And Symptoms of Morning Sickness

Often the very first sign of pregnancy is morning sickness and one may experience the effects as soon as two weeks after the date of conception. Despite it being called morning sickness, women who suffer from it can feel ill all day or any part of the day. One of the triggers for symptoms of morning sickness to appear seem to be an empty stomach which makes it a common time to appear.

Although not all pregnant women will be affected by morning sickness, most of them to some degree will experience queasiness or mild nausea and may battle to keep food or liquids down at some times. Women who have a history of getting travel sickness or migraine seem to be more affected by morning sickness than women who do not.

While nobody really knows what causes the nausea most doctors agree on the fact that the hormone changes that pregnancy triggers are the biggest culprits. Pregnant women also seem to suffer from heartburn or acid reflux which is caused by higher levels of acid due to hormone changes at the time of pregnancy.

Another plausible cause is the fact there is an increased or heightened sense of taste and smell during pregnancy which can trigger the nausea. Any woman who has ever been pregnant can tell you about some or other smell that they found absolutely repugnant while pregnant!

Being stressed and tired can also play a big role, and most women who are pregnant can confess to being stressed and tired most of the time!

For some women, morning sickness can last through the full pregnancy, but for most women the symptoms disappear or lessen at around 14 weeks as their hormone levels start to stabilize.

When you are pregnant there are normally dozens of aunts and grandmothers who seem to have loads of opinions on traditional ‘cures’ for morning sickens, but the act is that every women is different and their bodies react different to different things so that there is not really any single thing that will work for everybody.  There are some tried and tested simple things one can do to try and feel better.

Seeing as an empty stomach could be the forerunner to nausea, you should try and snack on something healthy every so often to keep from getting too hungry. Keep a couple of snacks on your bedside table to eat before you get up in the morning or if you often wake up at night.

Sucking on crushed ices could help keep the nausea at bay, and while fizzy drinks are not exactly slimming, it can also help prevent nausea. Try making a therapeutic tea from fresh or crushed root ginger and drink it every so often. Ginger is a known remedy for soothing upset tummies and nausea.

Over the counter remedies that help for travel sickness might help, but you should always consult with your physician before taking any medication while you are pregnant.

As unpleasant as it may be, morning sickness is a very natural part of being pregnant and it will not harm your baby in any way. However, if you suffer from severe nausea and you are not able to retain any food or fluids you might become dehydrated and this is very dangerous for you as well as your baby. You should definitely consult with your doctor if this continues, and if your urine turns a dark color it is a definite sign that your fluid levels are too low.

When you are experiencing morning sickness it is more important to eat something that makes you feel better and gives you energy rather than to worry about what you are eating. So if it is chocolate that you are craving, and it makes you feel better, go for it by all means. You can once again start eating healthier foods when the morning sickness lessens or disappears altogether.


	

6 Pregnancy Exercise MUST DO’s!

While reading through some questions from my subscribers, I noticed that a lot of you have BASIC questions about exercising during pregnancy, for example, “Can I continue my exercise routine now that I’m pregnant?”.

To help you out during this critical time of year (i.e. the time when SO MANY of us have gained extra, unwanted pounds over the holidays and are ready to get back into shape!), I’ve put together a little “cheat sheet” on some of the BASIC EXERCISE GUIDELINES FOR PREGNANCY:

1. Get the OK.

Always be sure to get your doctor’s okay before you begin any type of exercise routine so any high-risk situations can be ruled out.

2. Stick to what you know.

I know you hear this all the time, but there’s a good reason for it. Because there are so many changes going on in your body NOW is NOT the time to start something new.

3. Use common sense when you’re trying to decide whether to continue your pre-pregnancy exercise workout or not. 

Because I can’t answer each one of you individually (and there are SO MANY different exercise routines and intensities out there!), here are my suggestions:

– Avoid running long distances and training for marathons, they are too intense for this time in your life. Moderate your activity by slowing down the intensity and duration and you should be fine.

– Avoid training in intense heat, on steep inclines or at high altitudes. Choose even terrain and stick to public places (you’ve got way too much to risk!).

– Avoid sports like basketball, squash, racquetball and tennis – they involve too many jerky movements and rapid changes in direction, which is too much for your loose joints and poor balance to deal with.

4. When it comes to weight training – aim for endurance over strength (preferably 15 reps.). 

Concentrate on maintaining your existing strength, not building. As your pregnancy progresses, really listen to your body and do ONLY those exercises that you feel comfortable with – do NOT push yourself.

Do not do anything where you need to hold your breath, this will cut off precious oxygen to your little one. Instead concentrate on doing steady flexion and extension at a moderate level, making sure to inhale on the rest (easy part) and exhale on the exertion (hard part).

Your easiest and safest choice would be to follow a pregnancy-specific workout (refer to my Pregnancy Without Pounds Hot Mama routine for all the details).

5. Do not do any pregnancy exercises that require you to lift overhead, lie on your back or press a lot of weight forward (i.e. leg press machine).

Aim to do the majority of your exercises in a supported position, preferably sitting down or holding on to something stable – avoid lying on your back AFTER your third month.

6. Regardless of which workout you’re doing, ALWAYS ensure that you are well hydrated and fueled.

Never exercise on an empty stomach or without water. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. And if you need a little extra boost, try adding a little fruit juice.

Remember, pregnancy is NOT the time to push yourself that EXTRA MILE – you don’t want to look back with regret!